Attention Laurel Patients:  The new Laurel office is open. The address is 7140 Contee Road, Suite 3500, Laurel, MD 20707….Attention Lanham Patients: Our new Largo office will be opening Monday,  June 17th and our Lanham location will be closed permanently. Largo’s address is 9333 Healthcare Way Suite 4100 Largo, MD 20774.

Overview

Nasopharyngeal cancer is a type of head and neck cancer that starts in the nasopharynx, which is the upper part of the throat behind the nose and near the base of the skull. It’s located behind the nasal cavity and above the soft part of the roof of the mouth. The risk of nasopharyngeal cancer is higher for people with Chinese or Asian ancestry, people who have been exposed to the Epstein-Barr virus, or people who consume heavy amounts of alcohol.

Nasopharyngeal cancer may cause trouble breathing, speaking, or hearing. You may notice a lump or mass in your neck that is not tender or painful—this can be caused by cancer spreading to the lymph nodes and causing them to swell. People with nasopharyngeal cancer may also experience:

  • Hearing loss, ringing in the ear, pain, or feeling of fullness in the ear on one side
  • Recurrent ear infections
  • Nasal blockage
  • Nosebleeds
  • Headaches
  • Facial pain or numbness
  • Trouble opening mouth
  • Blurred vision
  • Trouble breathing or talking

Many signs and symptoms of nasopharyngeal cancer can be caused by other diseases; please speak to your physician if you have any concerns.

Treatment

If you are diagnosed with nasopharyngeal cancer, your cancer care team will develop a treatment plan based on the stage of your cancer, your overall health, and your goals. Treatment options may include:

  • Radiation Therapy is usually used as part of the initial treatment of nasopharyngeal cancers if the cancer has not spread outside of the head and neck region. It may also be used with or after chemotherapy, or to help with cancer symptoms.
  • Chemotherapy is often used along with radiation therapy as the main treatment for more advanced stages of nasopharyngeal cancer. It can be used as the first treatment before radiation, at the same time as radiation to increase the effectiveness of the radiation, or after radiation. It is also used to treat symptoms and recurrent cancer.
  • Surgery for nasopharyngeal cancer is usually done to remove lymph nodes in the neck that have not responded to other treatments.